Really?! I don’t believe it!

Hi and good afternoon

John chapter 1 verses 46-47 says this:

And Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!”

Without deceit means “simple, without subtlety, candid and sincere.” Was this a compliment or a mild sarcasm? Jesus may actually have been pleasantly surprised.

We all need to pay heed to His comment, in which He is teaching that “a real Israelite is one in whom is no falsehood.” Nathanael represented the way a true Israelite should be, a person without deceit, candid and sincere.

We can take this teaching for us as a Christian too.

Jesus seems to be referring to the post-conversion character of the once-deceitful Jacob, the ancestor of the Israelites, whose name God changed to “Israel.” Before Jacob’s conversion, Isaac had said to Esau, “Your brother came with deceit and has taken away your blessing” (Genesis 27:35), yet afterward, Jacob dealt honestly and fairly with others.

However, lying is such an integral part of the fabric of our lives that we have coined such expressions of mild disbelief as “Is that so?” and “Do you really mean it?” We expect advertisers to exaggerate the quality of their products. We expect politicians to be less than truthful, to lie, to be evasive, to use their positions to become wealthy, and to make under-the-table deals with contractors or even criminals. We expect policemen to be “on the take” and businessmen to give little in return for as high a cost as the market will bear.

People in government commonly lie “in the national interest,” as the saying goes.

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill served his nation most critically in wartime, during which artful lying, called disinformation, was a common tactic. He once said, “In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.” Do we as a people think that no one is listening?

What do I think about lying?

As a Christian at work do I stand and am I known as one “without deceit”?

Have a good week

Mark

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